Spanish Weddings: I've attended a few of these and have suffered a spinning head and a loss of hearing for several days thereafter. Here's a guide from The Local on how to approach these, if you're lucky enough to be invited to one.
Tipping in Spain: In places still truly Spanish, this is minimal. As low as the loose change after paying the bill. So 5% is appreciated and 10% leaves the serving staff pretty ecstatic. And very grateful. Not surprisingly, then, there's a concern here in Ponters that the huge increase in tourists and 'pilgrims' this year could change things for the worse. For customers at least. As high levels of tourism always do. I do my bit by pleading with US visitors not to leave anything like their ridiculous level of 20 or even 25% but I might be swimming against a tide. Some of them seem to think it's not merely a gratuitous obligation but the reciprocal of a constitutionally-given human right.
Criminal Spanish Bankers: There are a lot of these but, as Don Quijones, has said, they don't usually get punished for their misdemeanours. Here's one example of nice treatment, pending a (long and unproductive?) trial.
- Just in case you've read any previous versions of Flexit, here's Flexit v6.
- And here's Don Quijones on how the Brexit is being used to distract us from continuing bank bail-outs. His/her opening paras: Brexit has become one of the biggest catch-all preemptive scapegoats of recorded human history. Even far beyond the old continent’s porous borders, politicians, central bankers, and economists are warning their respective populations to brace for a serious aftershock if the people of Britain vote to leave the EU. This is is a remarkable feat given that the UK has its own perfectly functioning currency, and as such decoupling from the EU, while bumpy, should not pose an immediate financial threat either to the UK or the EU, let alone the world at large. But try telling that to the eurocrats, politicians, and central bankers whose long cherished dream of creating a seamlessly interconnected, interdependent European superstate appears to be in the process of unraveling.
Soccer Violence in France: This needs no comment from me: Top Russian football official Igor Lebedev not only played down the violence but praised the fans for their actions: "I do not see anything wrong with the fans fighting. Quite the opposite, well done lads, keep it up" – he tweeted. In an interview given to life.ru, Lebedev further explained the behaviour of Russia fans: "The lads defended the honour of their country and did not let English fans desecrate our motherland. We should forgive and understand our fans". Apparently, it's all the fault of the French, for not being sufficiently prepared for the professional thugs. Good to see that RT TV doesn't go quite this far. So, not all bad.
Facebook: Ever more irritating. Yesterday I had to stop following an Egyptian archeology site which I'd never heard of, never mind signed up for. I'm still waiting for someone to tell me there's a less intrusive alternative. So I guess it doesn't yet exist.
Finally . . . A video about Brits in Spain which you might or might not find funny. It's completely wrong in suggesting the Spanish taxpayer pays their healthcare bills. The UK government sends a per capita amount each year – decided by Brussels – to cover these. It's possible the Spanish governemnt does the same for their nationals resident in Britain.
A foto of the group of women (and 1 man) with whom I dined so enjoyably the other night. In front of our Alameda statue of the Heroes of Pontesampaio. These were guerillas who defeated the invading French in a nearby 1808 battle, albeit with a bit of British help. In what the Spanish call The War of Independence and the rest of us know as The Peninsular War. Given that Portugal was involved as well.
There's no monument to the British, by the way.